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British Made Goods: Public Sector Contracts

Volume 695: debated on Wednesday 19 May 2021

What discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on encouraging the purchasing of British made goods through public sector contracts. (900094)

Last week’s Queen’s Speech announced legislation on procurement that will increase flexibility for contracting authorities and reduce bureaucracy, which will simplify procurement in the public sector and help support British businesses. I very much hope that the Welsh Government will join us in further supporting Welsh companies.

The Minister will be aware that the Department for Transport is spending billions on its programme to decarbonise transport, but it does not seem so interested in building our green manufacturing capacity. Does he share my concern at recent reports of Welsh councils buying green buses not from British firms, but from China? Will he hold urgent discussions with councils, Government and the Transport Secretary in London to demand that taxpayer-funded green subsidies support British industry and British jobs?

I am absolutely delighted that the right hon. Gentleman recognises that this Government are spending billions of pounds on supporting green industries; he is absolutely right. I do not know which specific councils he means, but I know that Newport City Council, a Labour council, recently bought some electric buses; I have no idea where from, but if he has a problem with how the council is conducting procurement, perhaps he would like to discuss it with some of his Labour colleagues. He will certainly know that we have to abide by the World Trade Organisation treaty agreement. I do not suppose that he is advising me to break our international treaty obligations, but if he is, I look forward to hearing more about it.